Sam Vokes is back at Burnley

Last updated : 31 July 2012 By Tony Scholes

Vokes was the player Howe turned to last season to strengthen his forward options, something that paid very quick dividends with him coming on as an early substitute in his first game against Leeds when Charlie Austin suffered a shoulder injury.

During a two month stay he made nine appearances, of which three were starts, and scored two goals, netting the first in the 4-0 win against Ipswich at home and four days later heading the winner at West Ham.

His last appearance, like his first, came as a substitute for Austin against Leeds, this time the New Year's Day Bank Holiday game at Elland Road.

He sat on the bench at Middlesbrough in the next league game, seeing both Martin Paterson and Junior Stanislas suffer injuries. That prompted us to try and extend the loan but Wolves recalled him and then sent him to Brighton for the remainder of the season.

It was thought that he might stay at Brighton permanently having spent four years going out on loan to various clubs, but it didn't happen and he returned to Molineux.

Burnley's interest grew. Yes, we were linked with Brett Pitman, another former Bournemouth striker now with Bristol City, and there were repeated links with Norwich City's Chris Martin.

But Vokes was always the number one target and his return to Burnley this time is as a permanent Claret having signed a three year contract after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee which has been widely reported at around £500,000.

With the signing of Jason Shackell recently, Howe said that he'd got his defence sorted, and I would think he'll be equally happy now with his forward options with Vokes added to Austin, Danny Ings and Martin Paterson along with a group of young strikers in the development squad.

It's midfield time now, made more urgent with the injury to Marvin Bartley.